In 1998, the Youth Academy program was launched by General Barry McCaffrey to involve students as leaders and peer mentors in the fight against substance abuse and to involve adult mentors in the transfer of leadership skills to the students. The crucial element, active student involvement in the strategic planning of prevention initiatives, is the cornerstone of the program which ultimately strive to reduce the factors that put youth at risk of substance abuse.
"Through our leadership and role modeling, we will act as educators to the community by advocating a lifestyle free from substance abuse."
In accordance with its mission, the Youth Academy in Troy provides teens with a strong leadership program based on Franklin Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" and active student involvement in the planning and implementation of initiatives.
The Youth Academy/Teens Taking Action program also provides the teens with the opportunity to attend a three day summer Ropes Camp, designed to provide physical activities such as challenging high ropes courses and rock climbing which foster leadership, group cohesiveness and a spirit of trust. Ropes Camp also provides a unique opportunity for building relationships.